Does the glass really matter?With so much debate out there on whether or not a wine glass can truly enhance the aroma, taste, and overall experience when enjoying a glass of fine wine, we did a little Sunday evening showdown!
Our favorite wine glasses are from Riedel. Riedel is known for designing glasses in shapes that compliment the characteristics in particular wine varietals. In most wine tastings and pairings that Grant and I have been a part of, Riedel glasses have been used. We have several different glasses, so decided to put three different red wine specific glasses the test.
For this showdown we selected the Vinum XL Cabernet Sauvignon ($69.00 for 2), the Ouverture Red Wine ($24.00 for 2), and the O Wine Tumbler Cabernet/Merlot ($29.50 for 2). This gives a good range of prices as well as size options. Note that all of these are dishwasher safe. Good luck figuring out how to place the XL glasses in your dishwasher!
As you can see, the Vinum Xl is a mighty large glass, standing tall at 10 1/2″ vs. the Ouverture, which stands at 7 3/8″. All of these glasses can be found here – Riedel O Wine Tumbler Cabernet/Merlot, Set of 4, Riedel Vinum XL Cabernet Glass, Set of 4, Riedel Ouverture Red Wine Glass, Set of 4 or by using links at the end of this post.
For this showdown we decided to enjoy A Sinclair Estates Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon.
Lukas is on to us. He is aware and officially interested in our tasting. He sniffed out there was something delicious about to happen. His thick, friendly, and destructive tail is hoping we don’t pick the XL! His excitement and large tail have knocked too many glasses over. He is definitely rooting for the O tumbler!
We picked this 2013 Washington state Cabernet Sauvignon from Sinclair Estates Vineyard. This is a dark, bright Cabernet. It is bold and tart, bursting with black fruits and finishing with silkiness and flavors of chocolate with a hint of spice. This bottle retails for around $43.00. This wine needs to breathe in order to allow the aromas and tasting notes to open up properly. We have found if you drink this too soon, it will be astringent and the earthy notes won’t yet come through. We let this breathe for over an hour before pouring.
We originally bought this wine after Grant was told that this is allegedly a favorite of Ozzie Smith. You can’t live in St. Louis without getting excited to hear that you will officially have something in common with a Legendary Cardinals Shortstop! So of course we had to try it. And we liked it! We really liked it!
Follow this link to learn more about Sinclair Estates and their 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon.
We started with the O Tumbler. The aromas were definitely muted upon reaching our noses. We found it to be astringent and lacking in silkiness and a balance of the tasting notes.
The Ouverture gave a much richer scent, however, it drank about the same as when using the O.
The Vinum brought this wine home. It allowed all of the bold aromas and spicy notes to come through. As we drank it, we got to enjoy the bright scent as well as the true essence of this wine.
Sorry Lukas! No tail-proof tumblers tonight!
We concluded that wine glasses do indeed enhance the entire wine experience.
Interested in purchasing Riedel glasses?